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Acantholytic Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Is It Really a More-Aggressive Tumor?

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Acantholytic squamous cell carcinoma (ASCC) is frequently considered to be a more-aggressive variant with worse prognosis than other squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) subtypes. OBJECTIVES

To analyze the biologic behavior of ASCC. METHODS

We conducted a literature search of articles in English plus a manual search of cited references and common dermatology textbooks. RESULTS

We found no comprehensive study on the biologic behavior of ASCC. Published data are scant, anecdotal, and contradictory. Of the articles investigated, the recurrence and metastasis rates ranged from 6% to 10% and 2% to 43%, respectively. CONCLUSION

Analysis of the published evidence does not support the assumption that ASCC is a more-aggressive tumor with higher potential for recurrence or metastasis. As with other SCC types, prognosis is more dependent on the characteristics of the host and the location, size, depth, differentiation, and previous treatment of tumors. The treatment and follow-up of patients with ASCC should be similar to those for other types of SCC.

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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